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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Nestboxes in

I put in 5 nestboxes today. One doe I'm pretty sure was experiencing a false, since she'd already made an incredible nest about a week and a half ago. Still, she's getting a box, it would be just my luck to assume she wasn't going to kindle and then see her scatter healthy babies.

Of these litters, it's a first timer doe, two does who haven't kindled live litters yet, a doe who hasn't kindled for me yet and a proven mother. Should be interesting. :)

I've definitely decided after talking to Tim that I'll be selling some cages. I know for sure I'll have one 4-holer available. It's a two level cage, with two 18x24 holes on each level and one large connecting pan. It is used, so there is rust on it, though it's still got plenty of life left in it. Pictures to come soon :). I may let a pair of these type cages go, plus a few singles.

I can't do delivery on any cages because we don't have a vehicle big enough to bring them to shows and I'd have to charge a delivery fee to make a special trip somewhere.

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thinking about Less Holes

I've been thinking for a while now about reducing my rabbitry down. I have approx. 50 total holes available. This includes the one Scout is in, the one Joe is in and the one Bandit is in, which takes me down to approximately 47 working holes among the two breeds. However, I have 7ish in storage now, which really puts me to 40 cages in my actual barn.

With life getting busy, it's getting harder and harder to stay on top of cleaning the stacking cages. I wish we could go to hanging cages or a brush-clean system. Talking to Whitney about her rabbitry plans REALLY made me jealous with her cage set up system!

Anyway, I've been thinking- after having sold down the hollands so much, selling several of the woolies and selling out of the Belgians (with the exception of Bandit, who is a lifetime pet), now would be an excellent time to sell down my cages as well. After all- an empty cage is a temptation.

I look at how well Joni has done with what is a tiny rabbitry. I'm not sure of exact cage amounts, but I believe she has around 20 cages for two breeds. She's done very well with the hollands and the woolies she's turning out are beautiful-

It's a double edged sword though. I know she and I have talked about how nice it is to be able to hold on to bucks longer and have more of them, to be able to grow out babies- keep charlie marked, etcs... at the same time, she gets her cages cleaned out FAST, the feed bill is less and she just talked on her blog about getting to socialize her babies.

I think I'll be listing some cages for sale soon. I've pretty much talked myself in to it I think, just want to be sure before I definitely go for it.

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bad Luck

Wow, not a very lucky week for me. I lost Kira's litter, pinched my finger in a cage (and that resulted in a HUGE blood blister), our vacuum blew up, got sprayed by a buck (who was promptly moved to the bottom cage- which he HATES), had some BIG trouble with our pet sitter and also am having trouble with a "friend" who loved to come visit the animals but now won't return my or Tim's calls. o.O Talk about an interesting week.

A holland doe, Amelia, kindled two LARGE, dead kits today, 5 days before her due date. I'm leaving her box in just in case she has something else. Not getting my hopes up though :(

I told Tim that I think it's a good thing there were no shows this weekend- with my current set of luck, something awful would have found a way to happen. We're just sticking close to home and waiting for the - well if not good luck, at least not bad luck to come back.

Oh, another bad luck happening- a load of laundry got washed with an ink pen in there, which burst in the dryer. So, you can either count it as bad luck for my work clothes, Tim's dress pants and some of his favorite tshirts, or figure we can clean cages in style now. :)

Thankfully, Whitney came to visit with her new Livestock Guardian Dog. I wish she lived closer, she's SO much fun to hang out with and makes everything better! :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, April 23, 2010


I ended up losing Kira's litter. I'm not sure why- they had a nice nest with PLENTY of fur, nice full bellies and it's not super cold outside, but they chilled and died anyway :(.

Ah well, I guess at least I can say she's started. I plan on giving her a few days off and then breeding her again.

I moved the doe that is kind of thin to another cage. Sometimes just a change of scenery can do amazing things for appetite or desire to breed.

I still have a pair of martenized AOV Jersey Wooly babies to pet out- I think they'll be so nice in type, but the color is unshowable and I'm not interested in trying to "fix it" to get showable babies. I rebred their mother to a self that doesn't carry AOV (to my knowledge), so I'm really hoping this next litter will repeat in type, just with showable colors!

I've reached the point of no return with another 3 does- this is basically where I know beyond a shadow of a doubt they aren't pregnant. SIGH. 2 of them were Hollands and one was a wooly. I've also got a Belgian Hare I really don't think is going to have babies either.

I wish there were more shows coming up- it seems like there is a big hole until the end of May when there is a show in Columbia, SC and the next weekend a show in Taylorsville.

I have some REALLY cute earrings that will be available for sale soon. I can't wait to get the rest of my supplies so I can get to work on them... :D Until then though, I guess this part is just a little teaser...buwahahaha.

So glad it's Friday!! I have a friend coming in this weekend that I can't wait to see and unwind with :D.

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rabbit Etiquette #1

I'm not sure if I've covered these topics before, but I'm going to do it again anyway, because I think it is worthwhile.

Rabbit Etiquette Tip #1 is: Be a good sportsman

It seems like more and more I'm hearing and seeing instances of people just being POOR SPORTS in all breeds. Winners doing an IN YOUR FACE smug dance and just generally being a butt. It makes it hard to want to congratulate someone that is spouting off the win record of every rabbit in the barn loudly or makes purposefully snide comments to other exhibitors. It's one thing to be excited, but when you win a class, is it super necessary to do a fist pump with a YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS while madly shaking your butt? A first BOB, a first BIS- these get a free pass to dance all you want to. :) A particularly big win is different than winning a class of three, where you own all three animals lol.

I'm not saying "oh don't ever show excitement at all! You must be wooden and boring." Just make sure your celebrations are of happiness and not the desire to rub it in everyone's face that you just won yet again. After all- the very next show you could be the one at the bottom of the class, watching someone else do the "BOOYAH" dance.

On the same token though, people, be gracious losers too. Snatching your rabbit off the table and stomping off like a storm cloud isn't exactly any better than the dancin' fool up above. I've been shocked at how many places exhibitors don't congratulate each other- at all. I got a very strange look for clapping for the breed winner once and an even stranger look because the winner didn't belong to me. I watched someone I traveled with heartily congratulate some youth kids on a win over their own child and then get rewarded with a suspicious look and a cold shoulder.

I know I've been guilty of giving no congratulations myself, not with a malicious intent,but usually just lost in my own thoughts about a particular animal or breeding to fix whatever trait the judge didn't like. It seems like with the woolies we throw the animals on the table and take them off so quickly that you don't have TIME to clap for group or breed winners, you're in that GO GO GO GO GO zone of trying to remove the animal. That's really no excuse though.

85% of what makes a breed enjoyable is the people you show with, the least we can all do is congratulate the winners and make it easy to be congratulated. Save the pouting and the Nah-Nah-Nah-Nah dances for home.

EDITED to add:
Apparently some people feel like they know who I am "talking" about in this post. I wanted to add this is not aimed at one person and is triggered by something I saw in Kentucky, from a breeder who's name I don't know, in a breed I don't own. A fellow exhibitor saw me noticing and mentioned that it was nothing compared to what happened at THEIR home shows. So I'm sorry to anyone who has been offended by this blog- I'm not sure if they are referring to the pouting or the dancing part, so we'll just make this a blanket apology.

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Breaking News!

We finally have holland babies!! Keep's Kira kindled 3- one peanut that has already passed on and two viables :D.

YAYYYYY So happy to be contributing to KLC baby wise lol.

Keep's Rabbitry

I've got the blues...

Here are my youngest babies! A beautiful blue and broken blue. It's actually the first broken I've had born here and the first litter out of my beautiful boy Tar Heel.

Tiny, adoreableness! Such tiny cute ears. They just recently opened their eyes.

The broken surprised me with actually having some color on one whiskerbed! When she was born, she looked like she wasn't going to have any nose marking at all.

So tiiiiiiiiiiired! :)

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Babies soon?

I put in three nestboxes today- I'm hoping for a lot of babies soon!

My REW doe that I suspect carries tan pattern is already pulling hair like CRAZY. She's not supposed to be due until the 30th, but is too tense for me to palpate. I gave her a box anyway and put most of her pulled wool in there, just in case I made a mistake writing down her due date. Most of these babies will probably be for sale, I'm not very interested in the tan pattern class at this time, but am hoping to pull a self from her. She was bred to Keep's Shocker, full brother to Keep's Tar Heel who is now living in California, so I REALLY hope she delivers and all is well.

Kira and Melanie, two holland does, are also due. I'm a bit concerned about Melanie, she's dropped a lot of weight recently for no reason I can tell- I'm going to change her food dish and see if that helps any.

Kira I KNOW is pregnant- she palp'd positive and has turned in to a mean little witch, lunging at open cage doors, the feed cup, the food dish, air.... I'll be glad when she kindles! Hopefully she will calm down once the babies are here.

The last doe due is Imagination's Gem, a belgian hare. I took her to enjoy the litter, but was unable to palpate her. Belgians are HARD, they are so huge and have a lot of area to cover when palpating. If Gem doesn't take, she and Ariel will be going with Whitney up to Virginia to make babies for a while. I'm selling out of the herd and Whitney has first option to purchase any of the does. Otherwise, I am forming a waiting list.

Whitehouse's Jasmine is Ariel's mother and a proven brood doe. She's not been shown.

Keep's Ariel is a gorgeous, showy doe with a promising show career ahead of her. Her two littermate brothers have both taken BOBs. She's only been shown once and at 8 months old, but couldn't quite beat Gem for the class.

-Kristen Drum
Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, April 16, 2010

JW Nationals, Part 3

Okie dokie, so I hope you're not tired of hearing about Nationals yet!

Sunday was interesting- we had two judges per show! I did very well, with Tryon winning his class in both shows :).

There was one moment where I nearly had a heart attack!

We had a young judge named Tanner in Show B- he had Poplar and another REW buck up as the top 2 in the class- he went back and forth, back and forth. He pulled out the Standard of Perfection and compared it to the rabbits, then the rabbits to each other... and then he said "Well. Today I guess..." and of course, Poplar finished second.

As we were waiting on BOB to go up (Both Tryon and Keep's Bahama were up, having beaten out a junior doe and Lyle Creek's Jinx to get there) and we all KNEW that Caudhill's REW sr. doe would win. She was beautiful and had taken every show to this point.

Judge Tanner went through the animals and he kept glancing at my pair. Then he complimented us all on our quality and still looking at my rabbit said "But it's unanimous, today it will be the Shadeds."

I had a brief, mixed moment of OMG and REALLY? When he blushed and said "Sorry, I meant the selfs!"

I said "OH NO, you KILLED me!" to general laughter, which embarrassed him even more, but he could at least tell it was all in fun.

He killed me twice that day, once when Poplar didn't take the class and again when my shadeds had briefly taken both BOB and BOSB... only not really :).

We loaded up the carriers and headed back to the room, then had a nice dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. A few bunny friends joined us late, but we had a good time talking with them.

Then it was back to the room and yet another early bed time for us!

The next morning we loaded up the car and hit the Harley Davidson shop to get Joni's husband a souvenir. We stopped briefly in Corbin, KY, so Tim could eat at the first KFC and we arrived home around 4.

I loved Nationals- I enjoy so much seeing all the folks I only get to see once a year, IF I'm lucky.

Next year it's in RENO. We'll have to see how that works out :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, April 15, 2010

JW Nationals, Part 2

The Wooly Coops

The show kicked off on two tables- Nationals was being judged by Bruce Ormsby, while Carla Wilson was taking care of the Specialty.

There was a bit of a WHAT moment when she went through the 24 self senior bucks and no placed almost half of them due only to hutch stain, ranging from barely there (like with Forest o.O) to significantly yellowed. It was... unexpected and different. I don't think I'd be off in saying a few people weren't thrilled with that, but what can you do?While watching Carla do her thing, we were all desperately trying to keep an eye on Bruce's table as well. With HUGE classes, there was plenty of down time to check out the sales animals that had been brought. I saw a few I wouldn't have minded bringing home, but I doubt they were in my price range and I had just let a few of my guys go as an early herd reduction, so it wouldn't have helped to bring a ton home!

Self Sr. Bucks being judged at Nationals
The show dragged on so long that ultimately for the Nationals show, they split it. Self Sr. Bucks were up on one side of the table, Shaded Sr. Bucks on the other. I can't thank Joni, Amber and Tim enough- I was freaking trying to watch my three self bucks, Joni and Amber watched the Shadeds for me and put them up on the table (with Tim's help). Then Tim came and ran to put my selfs back in their cages while I continued to wait. With a 3, 6 and 8 placing in a class of 24, I was tied up for a while.

I kept glancing over at Joni to see what was going on. After a few minutes, Amber said "You may want to come over here", so I left Tim and walked over. Joni said "You're Top Two." Ever the optimist, I asked "Which one?" This got me the strangest look from Joni and I said "Which one, Tryon or Cairo?"
Watching the shadeds go up for Group

I think it hit me at the same time she said it- both were still up. The exhaustion had seriously hit me at this point, along with the stress of both groups being up at the same time, but I think it was mostly just excitement- I had finally broken the barrier and would win a class. I had to walk away for a minute and let a few tears get by- it was incredible to realize a goal I've had since 2008 when I took 2nd at Convention. I think it's always a GOAL to win, but I mean one I thought I actually had a chance of achieving and relatively quickly.

Cairo beat Tryon, my perennial 2nd placer and went on to take BOSG. I'm still shocked and amazed- and even more thrilled that Tryon's SON did so well.

After the BOB judging for Nationals, we headed out- the Specialty was STILL going on. Poor folks!

We had hoped to catch a nap, but since it was nearly 5pm when we got to the hotel. We had just enough time to walk the dog and unwind a little before changing clothes and heading to the JW Banquet at Golden Corral.

Thank goodness we left early to get there- there wasn't enough room for everyone. We did get to share a table with Bruce Ormsby and his wife Tammy (I think that was her name- we're both apparently horrible with them lol!). I really enjoyed myself.

After the banquet it was back to the room for showers and collapsing in to the bed! After all, we still had one more day of showing.

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

JW Nationals, Part 1

We left out of here around 9:15am. Because of the rockslide on I-40 at the NC/TN border, we had to detour around and ended up not getting to Louisville until around 4:00pm. Thankfully we had enough room in the Caliber that everyone could ride in semi-comfort.

We stayed at the Microtel Hotel, which was about 15 minutes from the showroom. After swinging by there to check in and drop off the dog (our pet sitter crapped out on us at the last minute and we could only find sitters for two of the three), we headed to the showroom to get checked in and put the rabbits in their carriers.

Imagine our surprise when we discovered only half the coops had risers! All my selfs had it, but only Tryon had one in the shaded department, which meant that unfortunately, the woolies had to sit in shavings. Joni and I did get a few resting mats, which helped a bit, but none of the bunnies were very thrilled with sitting in the shavings, especially not the sales bunnies!

After a mild heartattack over not seeing any feed provided, they announced that Purina had been donated. WHEW! We had been about to jump in the car and desperately try to find a feed store that carried Purina. Poor Joni had to use Purina, no Manna Pro had been donated.

We headed to the room and grabbed Papa John's for dinner, then Joni and Bear stayed home while Tim, Amber Henderson and I went to Waverly Hills to Ghost Hunt!

Waverly is a Haunted TB Hospital that is incredible- I could write 100 posts just on the history and experience of this place, but I won't. I do love talking about it though, so feel free to ask me some time.

We didn't get back to the hotel until 4:30am. We got to sleep in until 7:45ish and then it was off to the show room for the Nationals and Specialty Show! We both downed our 5-Hour Energy shots and prepared for the show.

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, April 12, 2010

JW Nationals Results!

JW Nationals coincided with a local show- I hate that, I'd have liked to have been able to swing them both, especially since it looks like we're going to be light on shows this summer.


Keep's Poplar- Self Sr. Buck- 8/24
Keep's Forest- Self Sr. Buck- 3/24
Keep's Tar Heel- Self Sr. Buck- 6/24
Keep's Tryon- Shaded Sr. Buck- 2/8 (sad.gif- always a bridesmaid)
Keep's Cairo- Shaded Sr. Buck- 1/8!!!! My first Nationals Win!- BOSG!
Keep's Epiphany- Shaded Sr. Doe- 4/15
Keep's Heart Throb- Shaded Jr. Buck- 2/8


Keep's Poplar- Self Sr. Buck- 2/25
Keep's Tar Heel- Self Sr. Buck- 9/25
Keep's Cairo- Shaded Sr. Buck- 2/9
Keep's Epiphany- Shaded Sr. Doe- 2/12(ish?)
Keep's Fiona- Shaded Jr. Doe- 3/7. Not bad- she has NO coat right now at all lol!

Day After Nationals, Show A
Keep's Forest- Self Sr. Buck- 6/20
Keep's Tar Heel- Self Sr. Buck- 9/20
Keep's Tryon- Shaded Sr. Buck- 1/8 !
Keep's Fiona- Shaded Jr. Doe- 2/7

Day After Nationals, Show B
Keep's Poplar- Self Sr. Buck- 2/19- lost to the buck that took BOSB- and only BARELY, the judge had to go to the SOP multiple times to compare the top two.
Keep's Forest- Self Sr. Buck- 4/19
Keep's Tar Heel- Self Sr. Buck- 6/19
Keep's Tryon- Shaded Sr. Buck- 1/6- BOG!
Keep's Bahama- Shaded Sr. Doe- 1/7- BOSG!
Keep's Epiphany- Shaded Sr. Doe- 3/7
Keep's Heart Throb- Shaded Jr. Buck- 2/6

So, even though I missed out on seeing local friends and missed some friends winning BIS and BRIS, I had a FANTASTIC time and I'm absolutely thrilled with my placings.

It's incredible- and it seems the biggest factor in my placings was lack of coat! If only I could have had a little more perfection in the coats-

but hey, I finally crossed that glass ceiling that kept me at 2nd place and took my FIRST NATIONALS WIN! To go on and take BOSG was incredible, the competition was stiff!

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's almost Here!

Yesterday none of the due does popped- eurgh!

I did at least manage to get some nails clipped, some bunnies groomed and pedigrees printed and stuffed in their envelopes! Tim is going to drop them off in the mail for me today. :).

My grooming box contains scissors, a sharpie (for coop numbers in the right ear, IF that is necessary at this show), nail clippers, the tattoo'er (I'm still hoping to get them touched up today after work, but might was well be prepared), business cards and a brush. OH and some quick-stop in case a nail breaks or we reclip and it bleeds.

I haven't even packed my clothes yet and we're still freaking out and trying to find a dog sitter. We thought we had someone and as it came down to the wire... well anyway, anyone want to take one or possibly three dogs for a weekend? You know you wanna! I don't want to board them, that would be $75 per day for all three and I just don't have that kind of money to throw around. Wonder how Joni would feel sharing her bed with two weenie dogs and a corgi? lol

I still need to print out my entry confirmations as well as my hotel confirmations. I don't want to take the chance that any of these records get lost!

We got the car cleaned out any emptied of any superfluous items, so that's a plus.

Still lots to do and the clock is counting down. Too bad I have to work today- and I should have left NOW and still need to finish getting ready.


Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Quick little update

Well, I'm waiting on three does to kindle. They were all due yesterday and Tim called me at work excited because the "broken blue doe had 2!"

Yeah... that had happened about 4 days ago. I love him, but he doesn't pay attention sometimes LOL!

Today we've got to run out and stock up on more rabbit food for the caretakers while we're in KY. I'm hoping to get him to help me clean out a few pans too!

I've got to get pedigrees printed and mailed out to the folks who purchased animals and make sure I've got everything we need as far as nails clipped, tats touched up, zip ties, business cards, a brush packed- etc. etc.

Maybe I'll do a post on all the crap I take with me to national shows? Though really, I travel WAY light compared to some breeders :D.

I'm having some thoughts still about the Belgians. I haven't quite decided what to do, but I'm happy to report Gem has gotten over her issues and is eating normally again, as is most of the herd! I think they were addicted to the conditioner I was using, I really do.

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, April 5, 2010

A few new website pictures

I took a few new website pictures yesterday!

Keep's Tar Heel, a beautiful blue senior buck. This guy is small, but he definitely wows ya. He's in between coats right now. His brother is going out to California to live.

Lil Bit Farm's Melanie! I'm hoping she's pregnant :D. I'd love to see some little mini-Mels running around very soon.

Keep's Poplar. I love, love, love this buck. He's got enough legs to grand already and he's such a young senior! He's definitely a clone of his daddy Forest. I tried to sell this guy as a junior for cheap and no one was interested in him- I'm SO glad I held on to him! I feel like he needs to come with a warning though: Ears seen in pictures may appear larger than actual size. :lol:

Keep's Epiphany! She's been recently bred. I love the body on this doe. Unfortunately, she's one good look away from completely blowing out what is left of her coat and wool cap- and since she's going to Nationals with me, I know she'll wait until Thursday to do it!

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Nationals Again-

I'm just entirely too excited. I know it.

I've got to send in my entries for the day after nationals show. Everyone seems to be hanging on to their coat for dear life, I just wish SOMEONE was in prime coat!

I got two does bred who will be showing. I had to go on and breed them because they were going to be a little too frisky to show.... it's hard to judge an animal when she has her butt stuck 6 inches in the air lol. I timed it so both girls will be less than 10 days pregnant, so the stress shouldn't affect them or the litter.

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Belgian Hare Woes

I'm so frustrated with the Belgian Hares right now.

Trust me- I DEFINITELY know why they are rare!

I haven't had any babies in almost 9 months. The doe I brought home as possibly bred, Gem, is acting EXTREMELY frisky, trying to hump any other rabbit she comes in to contact with.

Ariel, my baby girl, is now old enough to breed. She has ZERO interest in being bred. ZERO. Rawr.

With the three Belgians, a large hunk of the rabbitry is devoted to only three solid bottom hare cages. It is amazing how much space you lose with those things.

Gem, the possibly bred Humpy McGee doe I mentioned earlier has decided to go on strike and not eat. Grass is fine, we can definitely eat that. Just not pellets, oats, calf manna, supplement- anything other than grass is being rejected. Ok, that's not just a hare problem, a few of my other rabbits have decided to do that same thing.

I'm at a crossroads here. Do I struggle on with my tiny, tiny little herd? Do I send Gem back to Whitney and sell the beautiful Ariel to a working herd, keeping my only buck as a pet? At least I do feel like I've helped educate a few folks on the hares and they have been seen at shows.

Oh speaking of another frustration. There are never more than 2-3 hares being shown. When we get that many, the judges aren't sure how to pose them and so it's a crapshoot as to who wins. Literally.


Keep's Rabbitry